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Russians Pull Gigantic Half-Ton Meteorite Fragment from Lake

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If you follow the sometimes strange happenings to do with space and science in general, you probably remember back on February 15th of this year when a massive meteorite entered the atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk injuring hundreds of people when shock waves created by the meteorite blew windows out of buildings. Russian authorities knew that a large meteorite fragment had broken through the frozen surface of Lake Chebarkul and plunged into the icy depths.

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Russian authorities have finally gotten around to searching out that meteorite fragment and what they discovered is incredible. Divers were able to pull a half-ton meteorite fragment out of the frigid depths of the lake. Scientists estimate that the meteorite weighed 10,000 tons when it entered the Earth’s atmosphere.

The large fragment reportedly fractured into three parts during the trip from the bottom of the lake. Once the rock reached the surface and was weighed it was found to tip the scales at 1,255 pounds. Doctor Caroline Smith, the curator of meteorites at the London Natural History Museum, was able to confirm that the rock was a meteorite from visible features seen in images of the fragment such as a fusion crust. The fusion crust forms as the meteorite is traveling through the Earth’s atmosphere as a fireball.

I can’t help but wonder how much the giant meteorite is worth considering even small fragments were selling for significant amounts of money before Russian authorities confiscated them earlier this year.

[via BBC]





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